Will military planes show up?


Working on the car in the driveway yesterday and heard a noisier aircraft than what usually comes out of the local airport. It was a pair of I think fighter jets (I don’t know my planes), not real high in the sky, flying south in close formation. Was going to run into the house to see if they were being picked up but I was full of grease and had a CV joint I was repacking.

So, if I did run inside to look at my local PiAware screen - would they have shown up? Do they use ADS-B?

FlightAware and Military traffic?

Not sure on Fighter Jets, but have picked up a few C17’s and the occasional C5 Galaxys comming from Europe across the the USA in the last week


When Trump is vacationing in Southeast Florida (every other weekend) there is a military plane circling 24/7. Here’s a flight I just happen to remember the name of. Always different names but easy to pick out because they circle at exactly 22,000 ft.



Calif ANG F-16’s in/out of KMHR do not show up. C130s from USCG Sacramento and Nev ANG out of Reno don’t send position data.


Here in Europe, I have a seen a Belgian (or was it Dutch?) F16, an AWAC plane circling and the odd transport and refueling plane of the RAF and the USAS.

I only noticed them on a Virtual Radar Server setup, where you can add silhouttes and flags to the aircraft lists, so they really stood out. It is mlat data though, and I am not sure they are visible on the dump-fa map?!


I’ve seen USAF refuellers on the dump-fa maps.


A rough rule of thumb is that military aircraft are going to have their transponders on (& therefore be visible in some form) if they are sharing airspace with civilian aircraft. ADS-B is less common.


I see ADS-B on quite a few military aircraft (trainers, “commuters” like the King Airs or military Citations, some tankers). I’d say at least half. Some even have ADS-B v2.

I almost never see any fighter jets. Last one was a British Tornado. Not sure why it was in the neighborhood. I do see a lot of military planes that are unidentified as to type. When there is an airspeed I can usually deduce some are fighters.


I see C - 17s and a lot of airborne refueling aircraft, too. The tankers fly a lot of racetrack patterns.

Never see any tactical aviation and there is a LOT of it down here.


Thanks everyone. Not sure where they were headed - after they disappeared from sight I could hear an afterburner kick on for a bit.

Guessing it was a training exercise - they didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere.


Just FYI, I have Flight RCH102 today (Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker) - the new PiAware SKyview shows it picked up using MLAT


just found this strange “Jet” over north Wales.


RAF training jet,

occasionally I notice a couple flying over, in the West of Scotland area,
Two Grob’s ,MOD I think trainers show…
almost daily US mil traffic Boeing, McDonnel Douglas mainly.

been quite a few bits of activity lately but mostly US, UK, German, French and Canadian on occasion passing over.
I use Virtual Radar Server with civ/mil enabled…
Tornados, F15s pop up occasionally.
a big NATO exercise as plenty of ships has been in the Firth of Clyde…


here in germany, you can see Eurofighters and Tornados and many more mils…
i use VRS to watch :wink:


Bit of a tangent but today this USMC Citation showed up in my area for the first time. Note the call sign “ADSBTEST” top right. It was doing some donuts in the sky.


I suppose I shouldn’t describe this as a donut :smiley:


lol I wish I had taken a screenshot of NATO31 the other day doing just that… Donuts over Newcastle for a couple of hours


Looks like I found a C17!


There’s still a lot of planes without Mode-S. Most bombers still have only Mode-3A/C. I think I read where fighters in the UK have strap-on Mode-S. Probably because the ATC system has been modernized to a level that it is hard to deal with the old system.

In the US, Mode-3A/C is still king outside of airlines.

Planeplotter has kind of neat Mode-C GUI that shows all the altitudes being received by Mode-C replies. I used to use that to see the B-1 bombers take-off and climb out. Course you couldn’t see lat/lon, just altitude. Which was good enough to know one was coming in as you watched the Mod-C only descend from altitude.

That was in my windows days though. Haven’t had Planeplotter in years.


In my area the top military planes seen are variations on C-130s, C17s, aerial refueling jets, turboprop and jet trainers, and turboprop and jet small transports. I’ve never seen a front line US fighter or bomber though they definitely are flying in the area. Oddly I have seen some UK front line aircraft. I’m hoping to make it so one or two air shows at the military bases around here to see some of these planes up close.